NACTA: Widespread support for AML Bill, US LEAD Project


[] – An opinion poll conducted by the North American Caribbean Teachers Association (NACTA) last week found widespread support for passage of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) (Amendment) Bill that has been stalled in Parliament over the last several months.

The poll also found significant support for implementation of the proposed Leadership and Democracy (LEAD) project that is funded by the United States International Republican Institute.

According to the poll, many people seemed unfamiliar with the project and some respondents expressed concern about (hidden) motif(s) behind it saying the government should have input in its implementation including the power to reject it outright as should be its right in a sovereign nation.

NACTA said that the revealed that crime and the economy (high cost of living) are the leading problems impacting on the nation, followed by poor governance and corruption, drug trafficking, and other concerns.

It was noted that the poll was conducted to determine peoples’ views on current controversial issues that are considered as impediments to development.

The survey randomly targeted 450 voters to yield a demographically representative sample (43% Indians, 31% Africans, 16% Mixed, 9% Amerindians, and 1% other races) of the population.

The poll was conducted in face-to-face interviews by several polltakers and was coordinated by Vishnu Bisram, pollster, newspaper columnist, political scientist, and educator in NY.

The results of the poll were analysed at a 95 per cent significance level and a statistical sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points was found.

According to NACTA, when asked whether they support the AML-CFT Bill, almost everyone answered in the affirmative. But when further queried “should the opposition parties support the Bill”, respondents were divided.

The Poll noted that businesspersons also expressed concern over the opposition’s proposed $2 million limit, as part of the Bill, above which people must provide accountability on how the money was obtained.

“Overall, 61% of the nation said the opposition should support the government in passing the bill with 24% saying no and 15% offering a neutral view or no response.

“Queried whether they support the US-funded LEAD project, 22% said they don’t know much about it (not sure) to offer a comment with 55% saying “yes” and 23% “no”. When asked whether the US Ambassador (Brent Hardt) should implement the project without obtaining Guyana government’s approval, 50% said “no” (including many opposition supporters) with 29% saying yes (including government supporters) and 21% not offering an opinion.

“When asked whether the government and the US Ambassador should work out a compromise on implementation of LEAD, in light of government’s opposition to the project, a whopping 70% said yes with 11% saying no and 19% not offering an opinion.”

Should the opposition parties support the AML-CFT Bill?

Yes No Not Sure
 61  24    15


Support for the LEAD Project

Supportive Opposed Not Sure
     55     23     22


In light of Gov’t objection, should there be compromise over implementation of LEAD?

Yes No Not Sure
 70  11    19





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